As a second time mum I naively thought that this time around, as I had another boy, I wouldn’t need to buy anything for the baby or myself. The truth is I didn’t need anything, he definitely didn’t need anything. However, being a woman (I’m blaming my natural cavewoman gatherer instincts here) there were things I wanted! So in those early days while glued to the sofa breastfeeding I exercised zero self restraint, threw myself at the mercy of the internet and indulged in some mum treats. Here’s a round up of the ‘essential’ mama kit keeping me sane this time around.
Lactation Treats – If there is ever a time to indulge in anything and everything you fancy eating then the weeks (ahem months) after having a baby are it. My baby is four months old this week and i’m still hitting the biscuits hard. In those early days and during growth spurts breastfeeding mums may experience low milk supply and baby cluster feeding until milk supply catches up with demand. I recently discovered lactation cookies and smoothies which are a great way to naturally boost your milk supply and also happen to be incredibly tasty. I’ve used Boo.B Smoothies and Mothers Love Cookies and loved both. The cookies are an indulgence you can justify and the smoothies feel like your doing something good for you body. Both helped to increase my milk supply and were absolutely delicious. I would recommend checking that your blender actually works before buying powdered smoothies. I didn’t and now have a nutribullet shaped hole in my bank account!
Mum Humour – While my husband was on paternity leave one of my favourite things to do post birth was escape for a bath every morning with lavender oil (for healing sore bits) and a book. I whizzed through The Unmumsy Mum in no time and then discovered other mum lit. With my first baby I found that when I had downtime either while feeding or when the baby slept I ended up faffing around on my phone because I couldn’t seem to concentrate on anything for long. I wasn’t interested in baby magazines and either mum bloggers and books were not around or I was just oblivious. Since having my second baby I discovered that the ‘mum’ books that I failed to notice last time around are actually exactly what I wanted to be reading. I’ve read a few now (book edit coming soon) and I’m a big fan of a laugh out loud honest account of the joys and pains of motherhood plus if you get them on kindle they are cheapish and can be read in the dark while feeding.
I feel like I could write a whole blog post about how much I love the Scummy Mummies podcasts. I wish I’d discovered them sooner. Having podcasts on my phone has been a lifesaver during endless hours of feeding and long pram walks not to mention the half hour I spend sitting on the floor in the dark waiting for my toddler to give in to sleep every evening. I owe the Scummy Mummies a very large drink for their company during the monotonous bit of motherhood and the hours I’ve passed laughing out loud to myself testing my pelvis floor muscles!
Mum Jewellery– Obviously I’m a big fan of a teething/nursing necklace because thats my business. I’m really appreciating them this this time around because none of my pre-baby clothes fit and I can’t be bothered to hit the shops with two kids in tow. I’m also loving the trend for woven macrame style jewellery as it’s soft and doesn’t hurt of baby yanks your necklace. I’ve invested in some functional but boring plain coloured tops and a couple of pairs of trousers and am jazzing them up with jewellery. I’ve also rediscovered my leather Pandora bracelet which I haven’t worn for ages but is great as a lit of bling because I can leave it on all the time. Sometimes digging out something old actually feels like getting a new treat. Jewellery of any kind is great for adding a pop of colour to your ‘mum uniform’. I was recently gifted an activity tracker which aside from being quite funky is a fab way of motivating myself to move more. However, if you have a baby under no circumstances should you look at the sleep tracker because it’s just plain depressing (unless your child sleeps through the night in which case I am SO jealous)!
Essential Oils-I bought some oils for labour even though I knew deep down I wouldn’t remember/have time to use them (I was right) but I’ve really enjoyed having them post birth. I used lavender oil in the bath in the early days as it’s great for healing and is calming. It can also be used as a massage oil for mum and baby and is mild enough to be put directly on baby skin or can be diluted with a carrier oil. I’ve been using lavender, camomile and geranium oils on reusable wipes for baby and in a diffuser in my living room which makes me sound like a raving hippy I know but a nice smell is a mood lifter when you’re at home all day with two kids.
Fancy Baby Clothes– First time around I didn’t really indulge in what I call ‘fancy’ baby clothes. H&M and Next were my staples and for the most part they still are. However, because my second boy has loads of hand me downs the things I have bought have been more of a treat. I love the variety of organic cotton baby leggings available on Etsy. Doubly Lovely, Lottie and Lysh and Turtle Dove London are my favourites so far and I’m always scouring Instagram for more.
Cloth Nappies- Again a whole blog post could and will be written on the joy of cloth nappies. I cannot rave enough about the soft natural fibres next to babys skin, the practical design, effective containment of baby poo, gorgeous prints and of course the reduction of waste and environmental impact. There is something very satisfying about using cloth nappies and I admit they are as much for me as they are for baby. I only briefly considered reusable nappies with my first baby and once he arrived I forgot all about it. Just after my second boy was born I saw some cloth nappies on Instagram, did a bit of research and made the decision to go for it. I’ve no idea why I had such an urge to do it but I’m so glad I did.
Mama Merch– I see lots of mums wearing Mama/Mother t-shirts, tote bags, fingerprint, breastmilk and name jewellery. It’s not something I’ve ever been into mainly because I don’t really like wearing labels or clothing with slogans on. I don’t know why but I just don’t feel right in it. I like the idea of the Selfish Mother T-shirts with a good portion of the cost going to charity and I like them on other people but I’m not sure they are really me. I’ve always steered clear of things with Mum/Mama/Mother on them. I think it’s because for while after having my first child I felt like I was only a mum and nothing else. So I was reluctant to have my new job title emblazoned across my belongings because I didn’t need a reminder that my old identity was gone. Recently I won a travel pouch by Alphabet Bags with the slogan ‘You got this Mama’ and I absolutely love it. It is really practical, stylish and made in the UK. I love that despite the fact I’ll probably end up using it for nappies and baby stuff it is my bag because it says Mama on it! I had it in the bottom of the pram today at the park and it was a conversation starter when another mum asked where I got it. I’ve started to appreciate the Mama Merch trend as away of promoting solidarity and a sense of belonging and community among mothers and I now understand why many mothers have embraced the trend I’ve been running away from.
I’m a big supporter of small businesses and I love to shop small whenever I can. Many of the businesses I’ve mentioned in the post are run by hard working mums and dads. Check them out on social media next time you’re sat in the dark feeding, waiting for the kids to go to sleep or faffing about on your phone. Feel free to share this post and don’t forget to leave me a comment if there are any mum treats you would recommend.
**As always all opinions are my own. All of the products/services mentioned in this post were bought with my own hard earned pennies and I only ever recommend things I actually use myself**